We haven’t heard much about Wonder Woman 1984 since it wrapped production last December. To be fair, the release date was pushed back from November 1, 2019 to June 5, 2020, so we’ve got a lot of time to go still. What we do know about the project is it will feature Gal Gadot once again as Diana/Wonder Woman, a returning Chris Pine as Steve Trevor, Kristen Wiig as Barbara Minerva (aka Cheetah), and Pedro Pascal as a yet-to-be-revealed character (my best guesses are Maxwell Lord or Glorious Godfrey).
But for some reason, in a new interview with Vulture, producer Charles Roven —who also worked on Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Wonder Woman, Justice League, and Suicide Squad—said the film is not a sequel:
According to him, Jenkins herself would like to avoid any perception of the S word. “She was just determined that this movie should be the next iteration of Wonder Woman but not a sequel,” Roven tells Vulture. “And she’s definitely delivering on that. It’s a completely different time frame and you’ll get a sense of what Diana-slash-Wonder Woman had been doing in the intervening years. But it’s a completely different story that we’re telling. Even though it’ll have a lot of the same emotional things, a lot of humour, a lot of brave action. Tugs at the heart strings as well.”
Now sure, sequels have a bad rap but that’s no reason to create some bizarre false narrative around your film. You can’t even claim semantics are at play here. Wonder Woman 1984 picks up after the events of the first film and will reference them, therefore, it is a sequel.
Look. Let’s just lay all the cards out. Everyone, Warner included, knows the studio screwed up with its approach to the DCEU. It tried to go the Marvel Studios route but that turned out not to work (of course there were lots of factors at play). Wonder Woman’s success was a part of what made the studio realise this and releases like Aquaman and the forthcoming Shazam, not to mention future plans, are examples of the course correction. But trying to pretend like the universe didn’t already exist, especially when it comes to one of your most critically acclaimed superhero films, is ludicrous.
All told, there was some inkling WB would actually try and attempt that very thing when James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad was announced to be using all different characters. The studio has since recast Deadshot which muddies the waters of that concept just a bit but Wonder Woman 1984 was already filmed by that point. WB just needs to remember that a plan to extricate itself from the grimdark waters of its past can be a gradual one and doesn’t need to disavow its earlier projects to make it happen.
Photo: Warner Bros.